Al Marsh

LSA deliveries grow slowly

September 5, 2008 by Alton K. Marsh, Senior Editor, AOPA Pilot

Dan Johnson of bydanjohnson.com has an interesting chart on his blog today showing how monthly light sport aircraft sales spike, nearly double, after major trade shows such as Sun `n Fun and EAA AirVenture at Oshkosh. The monthly average of 38 registrations (an indicator of sales) doubles to 70 or even 88. At the moment registrations have dropped to 24 for last month, possibly an indicator of the state of the economy and the economic tension leading up to a major election.

Two large LSA distributors (one in Denton, Tex., the other in Salainas, Calif.) say, in general, that sales are well below what they had expected when they entered the business. But they believe sales will grow when the economy heals and both remain enthusiastic about the future of the LSA industry.

Cirrus Design sees its Cirrus SRS LSA as one of the best chances for attracting new customers, especially in an economic malaise.

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One Response to “LSA deliveries grow slowly”

  1. Justin Says:

    I represent the distributor in Denton, TX referred to above. While it is true that sales are slower than anticipated, we continue to train new Sport Pilots on a regular basis. In fact, to my knowledge we are the only significant business in the DFW area actively training Sport Pilots. We get new students coming in frustrated that they cannot find anyone closer to them with an aircraft and/or instructor willing to provide them with the necessary training. While this is good for our business as far as flight training goes, it is bad for the industry. There is a real market out there for new pilots. But unfortunately, especially in today’s economy, the budgets are limited. The Sport Pilot certificate is an excellent way for someone to start flying at a lower cost, then move up to a Private Pilot certificate later. That is exactly what a significant number of our students say they plan to do.

    Because of the demand we have seen for Sport Pilot training, we are re-focusing our energy to move far beyond just selling LSAs (which we will continue to do). The new division of US Aviation Group is known as US Sport Planes (www.USSportPlanes.com) and will encompass training, sales, maintenance, and avionics (all LSA related). While US Flight Academy continues to promote all aspects of flight training from Private through ATP, US Sport Planes will be promoting all things Light Sport.

    We will be holding an open house on October 18th showcasing the new LSA showroom, the expanded flight school facilities, and our new maintenance hangars. If you are in the area, please stop by and say hi!

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